Ardal Northern Play-Off Final 2021-22 – May 28, 2022
Porthmadog 5 (Rhys Alun 37, 45 & 60; John Littlemore 85, Paul Lewis 87)
Rhys Alun Williams wrote his name into CPD Porthmadog folklore by scoring a hat-trick to inspire his team to victory and a return to the tier 2 Cymru North.
Saturday’s tier 3 Ardal Northern play-off result will go down well all over North Wales as Port are one of the most popular clubs around.
Former regulars of Tiers 1 and 2, they have had to spend just one season in the third tier.
At a sun-drenched Wern Mynach, Caersws, who had beaten Ardal North West champions Mold Alex in the Ardal Northern Cup Final, were certainly off-colour for this lunchtime kick-off at the home of Barmouth and Dyffryn United.
They had to wear the host club’s kit after forgetting to bring their own blue and white colours to the coast.
Following a strong opening to this promotion final, Port’s pressure finally paid dividends in the 36th minute when Rhys Alun Williams latched on to a Gareth Jones Evans through ball before lifting it over the advancing Steffan Jones in the Bluebirds’ goal, much to the joy of the large contingent of supporters following the Traeth club.
Reeling from that setback, Caersws conceded a second goal on the stroke of the interval when Jones-Evans’ 25 yard drive was blocked by Steffan Harri, spooned up into the air and Williams was on hand to volley into the net from close range.
That man Williams completed his treble 15 minutes into the second half when he drove towards the edge of the Caersws penalty area and fired a low strike that nestled into the corner – his 23rd club goal of the season.
The Bluebirds attempted to find their way back into the match, but were unable to get past keeper Paul Pritchard and his defence.
Port added the icing on the promotion cake with two further goals in the final five minutes.
John Littlemore volleyed home an 85th minute cross from the right delivered by fellow substitute Ben Fisher.
Two minutes later the tireless Paul Lewis scored the goal his endeavour deserved, breaking through a couple of challenges before drilling a low shot inside Jones’ near post.
Tremendous all-round from Port, but special congratulations to keeper Paul Pritchard, who announced over the weekend he is calling an end to a long and illustrious playing career.
Porthmadog: Paul Pritchard (GK), Gareth Jones-Evans (John Littlemore 82), Josh Banks, Euron Roberts, Iddon Price, Ifan Emlyn, Dewi Thomas (Stuart Rogers 64), Marcus Banks (Jamie McDaid 63), Rhys Alun (Matty Jones 82), Cai Parry (Ben Fisher 67), Paul Lewis.